Some people watch the Super Bowl to see who wins. Others for the must-see music of the halftime show. But a lot of us schedule our trips to the bathroom or fridge during the gridiron action in order to catch an annual parade of commercials boasting bigger budgets and stars than some movies.
After all, you know when all is said and done, someone will walk away with the Lombardi Trophy. But you gotta pay close attention so you don’t miss that one viral ad where a beloved star with high Q Score gets puts into an unexpected scenario and delivers a catchphrase or sings a classic radio hit of yesteryear to promote a brand or a product. Sorry, football – it doesn’t get more American than that.
Below, check out our 10 favorite commercials of Super Bowl 2022, from Arnold returning to his Grecian roots to a previously unannounced Kanye West cameo in a McDonald’s drive thru.
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Salma Hayek for BMW
Schwarzenegger, who played Hercules in a miserably dubbed pre-fame movie, returned to his Hellenistic roots to portray Zaddy of the Greek gods Zeus alongside Salma Hayek as wife/sister (let’s not get into that) Hera in BMW’s ad for their electric BMW. (Zeus is the god of thunder and lightning, thus the electric tie-in.) With classic droll Arnold humor and an adorable pet Pegasus (“Peggie”), it was already a winner, but watching Arnold and Salma as Greek deities singing Eddy Grant’s “Electric Avenue” took it to the Mount Olympus of Super Bowl ads.
Megan Thee Stallion and Charlie Puth for Flamin’ Hot Cheetos
After first popping up in a 2014 Geico ad, Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It” returns to Super Bowl commercial glory thanks to Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. With Flamin’ Hot PhD Megan Thee Stallion playing herself and a CGI bird in an alligator’s mouth, as well as Charlie Puth playing himself and a beatboxing fox (just watch it), it was certainly one of the most memorable commercial arcs of Super Bowl 2022.
Ye for McDonald’s
can i get uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
— McDonald's (@McDonalds) February 13, 2022
From “you deserve a break today” to “I’m lovin’ it,” McDonald’s has always scored big with simplicity in its ads. And it’s hard not to feel seen in the fast-food giant’s Super Bowl 2022 offering, which depicts the all too familiar experience of showing up at a Mickey D’s and spacing out while looking at the menu, gurgling out “can I get uhhhhhhh” just to buy yourself a few moments while you make a decision. Even Ye can relate, and he swung through a McDonald’s drive thru in the 30-second spot for a heavily Auto-Tuned “can I get uhhhhh” guest verse.
Zendaya and André 3000 for Squarespace
It’s been a minute since we’ve gotten new music from the inestimable André 3000, so even a new verse from the OutKast legend is big news. Sure, in this case, the new verse is really just a nursery rhyme tongue-twister about seashells by the seashore for a Squarespace ad starring Zendaya, but we’re starving here, and we’ll take what we can get. As for Zendaya? She’s clearly in her imperial phase and can do no wrong.
Larry David for FTX
It’s hard to pull off the trick of hiring a non-supporter of what you’re selling to promote your product, but you gotta hand it to FTX: It’s entirely believable that Larry David thinks cryptocurrency is stupid, and FTX did an excellent job of deploying the legendary cynic – shown in his commercial acting debut as a man throughout history who doubted the wheel, the lightbulb and space travel – as a roundabout way of promoting itself. “Don’t be like Larry,” urges the virtual currency agency company. Whether you’re CryptPRO or Team CryptNO, this was one of the game’s most memorable ads.
Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen for Lay’s
Two incredibly funny, likable comedians with acting chops sharing a Super Bowl commercial. What’s not to like? Just like the salty, crisp, irresistible snack at the center of this ad, this commercial about Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen’s “golden memories” was light, tasty fun that you wanted more of the moment it ended. Sure, they’ve starred in a bunch of movies together, but according to this ad, Rudd hasn’t seen any of them, so maybe it’s time for a re-team. We’ll bring the dip.
Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus for T-Mobile
Dolly Parton and her goddaughter Miley Cyrus teamed up for a T-Mobile ad that served as a send-up of charity singles. The cause? Cell phones stuck on bad networks. With a patented Dolly Parton chest joke (“America’s got a serious problem, so I’m gonna get it off my chest — 5G phones trapped on limited 5G networks”) and Miley Cyrus singing about underprivileged cell phones (“Do It for the Phones”) with gusto, it added up to a solid Super Bowl spot.
Halle Berry and J.B. Smoove for Caesars Sportsbook
Between BMW and Caesars Sportsbook, Greco-Roman lewks have never been more in vogue on Super Bowl Sunday. The sports betting app made a wise choice nabbing J.B. Smoove as Caesar, who beautifully knocks down Peyton Manning (“Caesar tells the jokes around here”) and otherwise insults his dinner party of A-list QBs.
Simple Minds for Meta Quest 2
An advertisement for Meta (formerly Facebook) starring an animatronic dog dipping his paws into the metaverse had no right to be as touching and resonant as this. Whether it was the retro emotional pull of Simple Minds’ iconic “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” or the storyline of a big furry dog getting rescued from the trash and virtually reunited with his animatronic rock ‘n’ roll pals, this one felt like a moving short film.
Snoop Dogg & Martha Stewart for BIC
As if serving as a cornerstone of the 2022 Super Bowl halftime show wasn’t enough, Snoop Dogg also appeared alongside pal Martha Stewart for a sly, tongue-in-cheek ad for BIC EZ Reach lighters, where Martha extolled the virtues of the lengthy lighter for candles and campfires, while Snoop, by his mere presence, reminds you what else you might use a long-reach lighter for.